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Posts tagged ‘HP’

7
Dec

HP Launches 4K ENVY Display With USB-C for New MacBook Pro


HP today launched its 27-inch ENVY display with 4K Ultra HD resolution and a built-in USB-C port for charging the new MacBook Pro, 12-inch MacBook, or most other USB-C devices at up to 60 watts over a single cable.

The IPS LED-backlit display features a clean design with a micro-edge bezel, matte black rear panel, and a thin aluminum stand. The base can be detached for VESA wall or arm mounting, but a bracket is not included.

hp-envy-27-display-ports
The display has a 60Hz refresh rate and supports AMD FreeSync, designed to eliminate stuttering and tearing in games and videos by locking the refresh rate to the framerate of the graphics card.

Tech specs:

• 27-inch IPS LED display with ultra-wide 178° angle viewing
• 4K Ultra HD resolution (3,840×2,160 pixels)
• 16:9 aspect ratio with 142 PPI
• 60Hz refresh rate
• 99% sRGB color gamut
• Typical brightness of 350 cd/m2
• Built-in ports: 1 USB-C, 1 DisplayPort 1.2, 1 HDMI 2.0, 1 HDMI 1.4
• USB-C Power Delivery up to 60 watts
• AMD FreeSync
• VESA mounting

Included in the box:

• A/C power cable
• USB-C cable
• DisplayPort cable
• HDMI cable

HP’s new ENVY 27 Display is available on HP.com and at select retailers in the United States for $499 starting today. The price point is about $200 cheaper than some competing USB-C displays, such as the LG 27UD88 and Lenovo ThinkVision X1, but features and connectivity vary.

One display that may be a better buy in the near term is LG’s and Apple’s new UltraFine 4K display. While it has a smaller 21.5-inch screen, the UltraFine has true 4K resolution (4,096×2,304), built-in speakers, 3 additional USB-C ports, higher 500 cd/m2 brightness, and a wider DCI-P3 color gamut.

LG’s UltraFine 4K display is $524—only $25 extra—until December 31. Afterwards, its price returns to $699.95, which will make it a less attractive option compared to HP’s ENVY 27 display, although still worth consideration.

Related Roundup: MacBook Pro
Tags: USB-C, HP, 4K displays
Buyer’s Guide: MacBook Pro (Buy Now)
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4
Dec

Microsoft hopes your Windows PC can replace an Amazon Echo


If rumors are true, Microsoft may be one of the few major consumer tech giants that doesn’t have a smart, voice-guided speaker in the works… but that doesn’t mean it’s sitting on its thumbs. In an expansion of recent code discoveries, Windows Central sources claim that Windows 10 is getting a Home Hub feature that will turn supporting PCs into rivals for the Amazon Echo and Google Home. You’d have a shared, login-free desktop that shares family resources like calendars and shopping lists, and a smart home app that would make it easy to control all your connected devices. And as you might surmise, the Cortana voice assistant would play a much, much more important role.

Under Home Hub, Cortana would have access to both shared content as well as that of individual users who are signed in. That would tackle one of the biggest issues with devices like Google Home — that they’re frequently limited to supporting a single user’s account. Supporting PCs would also be much more Cortana-friendly. You could use voice commands from a greater distance, and wake up the PC with voice alone. Home Hub-ready systems could even tout light and motion sensors to wake up whenever someone enters the room.

Provided the leak is accurate, it could be a while before you see every element of Home Hub. It’s reportedly scheduled to arrive through three significant Windows 10 updates (nicknamed Redstone 2, 3 and 4) that would start arriving in 2017. And if you want a PC designed for the feature from the ground up, you may have to wait until the very end of the year. Microsoft is said to be asking vendors (including HP and Lenovo) to step up with Home Hub-optimized all-in-one PCs in late 2017.

There’s no certainty that everything will pan out as planned. WC is quick to warn that delays and cancellations could change features and timelines, assuming Home Hub ships at all. However, it’s easy to see the incentive for Microsoft to make this a reality. In some ways, Echo-like speakers reduce the need for a family computer — you can’t do your homework through a speaker, but you can accomplish tasks that would normally require breaking out your phone or sitting at a desk. Home Hub would keep the PC relevant for homes where a shared machine makes sense, and might even provide an edge over smart speakers by offering the visual, multi-user info that you don’t get right now.

Source: Windows Central

2
Dec

The Engadget Podcast Ep 16: Feds Watching


Managing editor Dana Wollman and senior editor Devindra Hardawar join host Terrence O’Brien to talk about the week’s biggest tech news, including Nike’s new self-lacing shoes, Netlix’s offline mode and “yelfies.” Then they’ll rant about what’s been bother them this week, whether that’s DirecTV, crappy touchpads or Amazon’s convoluted pile of apps. Lastly they’ll try to unravel the complicated mess that is Rule 41 and what it means for privacy in America.

Wins

Loses

Winning %

Christopher Trout
5
1
.833
Mona Lalwani
3
1
.750
Devindra Hardawar
14
10
.583
Dana Wollman
10
8
.555
Chris Velazco
3
3
.500
Cherlynn Low
7
9
.437
Nathan Ingraham
4
6
.400
Michael Gorman
1
5
.167

Relevant links:

  • Yelp wants you to add a ‘Yelfie’ to your restaurant reviews
  • A first look at Nike’s self-lacing HyperAdapt sneakers
  • Netflix’s offline viewing mode was inevitable
  • Amazon needs to simplify Prime Video to compete with Netflix
  • AT&T’s DirecTV Now streaming service launches on November 30th
  • DirecTV Now is a good start for AT&T but nothing truly original
  • How an obscure rule lets law enforcement search any computer

You can check out every episode on The Engadget Podcast page in audio, video and text form for the hearing impaired.

Watch on YouTube

Watch on Facebook

Subscribe on Google Play Music

Subscribe on iTunes

Subscribe on Stitcher

Subscribe on Pocket Casts

29
Nov

HP successfully tests its vision of memory-focused computing


HP’s grand dream for the future of computing, The Machine, is no longer just a set of clever ideas and hardware research. Hewlett Packard Enterprise (the business-focused company that emerged from HP’s split) has successfully tested its Memory-Driven Computing architecture, where memory is more important to completing tasks than raw processing power. It’s just a proof-of-concept prototype, but it shows that everything works: compute nodes that share a pool of fast but permanent memory, speedy photonics-based data links and the custom software needed to make it all run.

The prototype needs more nodes and memory to live up to its potential, but there’s a good reason why HPE is optimistic based on this test. Simulations from the design phase suggest that a Memory-Driven Computing system is “multiple orders of magnitude” faster at running code than conventional PCs — up to 8,000 times faster, in some cases. And while the company most wants to use the tech for servers and other high-end computing tasks, it notes that this improvement could scale all the way down to Internet of Things devices. Even your smart home could benefit from the performance leap.

As before, the biggest hurdle is making it all practical. The non-volatile memory needed to make MDC shine isn’t due until sometime in 2018 or 2019, and HPE won’t have widespread use of photonics until around the same time. Don’t expect to buy a superpowered laptop any time soon, folks. However, the very fact that HPE has working hardware represents an important milestone. Now, it’s mostly a matter of refining the experience instead of proving that it’s functional.

Source: Hewlett Packard Enterprise

15
Nov

HP’s tiny Xeon-powered PC puts the Mac Mini to shame


HP has unveiled the Z2 Mini, a mini PC that packs workstation-class parts, including an Intel Xeon CPU, NVIDIA Quadro mobile M620 graphics and M.2 SSD tech. By using powerful notebook-sized parts, it squeezed that power into a 2.3-inch-high case that’s “90 percent smaller than a traditional business-class tower,” HP wrote. In its top configuration, the device is twice as powerful as any mini PC on the market, letting it run up to six displays in a stock configuration.

The Z2 Mini is 63 percent quieter than HP’s business-class mini PCs, thanks to a custom cooling system. The PC maker hyperbolically describes the engineering, saying “the octagon form of the Z2 Mini is the most uniquely designed workstation in HP’s 35 years of workstation history.” HP is targeting CAD, design, graphics and 3D users, though it could make a decent gaming rig in some configurations.

Spec-wise, it comes with up to 32GB of DDR4 RAM and an HP Z Turbo Drive, with M.2 SSD read speeds over 1GB/s and a capacity up to 1.5TB. You can get one with an Intel Core i7, i5, or i3 CPU, or pay more (presumably a lot more) for Intel’s Xeon E3-1200v5 family, normally used in workstations and servers.

Another option is NVIDIA’s mobile M620 Quadro GPU with 2GB of VRAM, also geared toward workstations and officially approved for pro apps like Autocad and 3DS max. However, it doesn’t meet NVIDIA’s “VR Ready” criteria, so it’s not certified with the Oculus Rift or HTC Vive, and would probably allow middling gaming performance, at best.

The Z2 Mini is missing a few other features, too. While USB-C is available, it doesn’t have a Thunderbolt 3 port, limiting drive options for video editors. And while it has three DisplayPort slots, it lacks an HDMI port (though USB-C can be adapted for that purpose).

As for the price, the compact PC starts at $699, which probably gets you an Intel Core i3 configuration without discreet graphics. Intel hasn’t said how much a stouter setup will cost, but it probably runs over double that with workstation components. If you’re in the market for a small, powerful PC and are tired of waiting for the next Mac Mini, however, it may be your best option. HP said it should arrive to market in December — hopefully we’ll get a better look at it before then.

Source: HP

28
Oct

The 13-inch MacBook Pro vs. the competition: Small but effective


It’s been a while since we’ve seen a revamp of the MacBook Pro, and this year’s models are definitely a big change thanks to the new OLED touch bar. Meanwhile, rival companies have been busy releasing machines that are increasingly more powerful, slimmer and even a bit sexy. We’ve highlighted some of the more outstanding small and light machines on the market here to see which slim chassis brings the most thunder under the hood.

Apple MacBook Pro 13-inch
Surface Book i7
Dell XPS 13
HP Spectre 13.3
Price
$1,499 / $1,799 / $1,999
$2,399 / $2,799 / $3,299
$800 / $1,000 / $1,150 / $1,300 / $1,400 / $1,650 / $1,850
$1,100 / $1,170
Dimensions
11.97 x 8.36 x 0.59 (304.1 x 212.4 x 14.9 mm)
12.30 x 9.14 x 0.90 inches (312.3 x 232.1 x 22.8 mm)
11.98 x 7.88 x 0.33 inches (304 x 235 x 15 mm)
12.8 x 9.03 x 0.41 inches (325.12 x 229.36 x 10.41 mm)
Weight
3.02 pounds (1.37 kg)
3.63 pounds (1.65 kg)
2.7 (non-touch) or 2.9 (touch) pounds (1.2 or 1.29 kg)
2.45 pounds (1.11 kg)
OS
macOS Sierra
Windows 10
Windows 10
Windows 10
Display
13.3-inch IPS LED
Touch Bar with integrated Touch ID
13.5-inch PixelSense touch
13.3-inch InfinityEdge touch or non-touch
13.3-inch BrightView LED / IPS LED
Resolution
2,560 x 1,600 (227 ppi)
3,000 x 2,000 (267 ppi)
1,920 x 1,080 (166 ppi) / 3,200 x 1,800 (276 ppi)
1,920 x 1,080 (166 ppi)
Processor
Intel Core i5 (2.0 GHz) / Core i5 (2.9 GHz)
Intel Core i7
Intel Core i3 (2.4 GHz) / Core i5 (3.1 GHz) / Core i7 (3.5 GHz)
Intel Core i5 (2.5 GHz) / Core i7 (2.7 GHz)
Memory
8 GB
8 / 16 GB
4 / 8 / 16 GB
8 GB
Graphics
Intel Iris Graphics 540 / 550
NIVDIA GeForce GTX 965M
Intel HD Graphics 620
Intel HD Graphics 620
Storage
256 / 512 GB
256 / 512 GB / 1 TB
128 / 256 / 512 GB
256 GB
Ports
Thunderbolt 3 (x2) / Thunderbolt 3 (x4)
USB 3.0 (x2), Mini DisplayPort, SD card reader
USB 3.0 (x2), Thunderbolt 3, SD card reader
USB Type-C (x3)
Wireless
802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.2
802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.0
802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.1
802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.0
Battery
54.5 WHr, 10 hours / 49.2 WHr, 10 hours
16 hours
60 WHr, 18 hours
38 WHr, 9.75 hours

* Specs listed are for default configurations and do not include upgrade options available at checkout.

Click here to catch all the latest news from Apple’s “Hello again” event.

28
Oct

The 15-inch MacBook Pro vs. the competition: More than touch


The larger MacBook Pros have always been about getting serious work done, and now you might be able to do even more thanks to the new Touch Bar. But there are plenty of other 15-inch machines to choose from — they may not have an OLED touch strip, but keeping features like USB 3.0 ports and an SD card reader can make a big difference in your routine. We’ve put some current mid-size laptops toe-to-toe with the new 15-inch MacBook Pro to see which one is best equipped to tackle your day.

Apple MacBook Pro 15-inch
Dell XPS 15
HP Envy 15
Samsung Notebook 9 Pro
Price
$2,399 / $2,799
$1,000 / $1,200 / $1,400 / $1,650 / $1,850 / $2,550
$920 / $1,050
$1,400
Dimensions
13.75 x 9.48 x 0.61 inches (349.3 x 240.7 x 15.5 mm)
14.06 x 9.27 x 0.66 inches (357 x 235 x 17 mm)
14.96 x 10.04 x 0.71 inches (379.98 x 255 x 18 mm)
14.72 x 9.83 x 0.70 inches (373.89 x 249.68 x 17.78 mm)
Weight
4.02 pounds (1.83 kg)
3.9 (non-touch) or 4.4 (touch) pounds (1.78 or 2 kg)
4.3 pounds (1.95 kg)
4.45 pounds (2.02 kg)
OS
macOS Sierra
Windows 10
Windows 10
Windows 10
Display
15.4-inch IPS LED
15.6-inch InfinityEdge touch or non-touch
15.6-inch IPS touch / IPS LED non-touch
15.6-inch LED touch
Resolution
2,880 x 1,800 (220 ppi)
1,980 x 1,080 (141 ppi) / 3,840 x 2,160 (282 ppi)
3,840 x 2,160 (282 ppi)
3,840 x 2,160 (282 ppi)
Processor
Intel Core i7 (2.6 GHz) / Core i7 (2.7 GHz)
Intel Core i3 (2.7 GHz) / Core i5 (3.2 GHz) / Core i7 (3.5 GHz)
Intel Core i7 (2.7 GHz) / Core i7 (2.2 GHz) / Core i7 (2.5 GHz)
Intel Core i7 (2.6 GHz)
Memory
16 GB
16 / 32 GB
12 / 16 GB
8 GB
Graphics
Radeon Pro 450, Intel HD Graphics 530 / Radeon Pro 455, Intel HD Graphics 530
Intel HD Graphics 530 / NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M
Intel HD Graphics 620 / Iris Graphics 540 / HD Graphics 520
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950M
Storage
256 / 512 GB SSD
HDD (+32 GB SSD): 500 GB / 1 TB
SSD: 256 / 512 GB / 1 TB
1 TB (5,400 rpm) + 128 GB SSD / 512 GB SSD
256 GB SSD
Ports
Thunderbolt 3 (x4)
USB 3.0 (x2), Thunderbolt 3, HDMI, SD card reader
USB 3.1 (x3), USB Type-C, HDMI, SD card reader
USB 3.0 (x3), USB Type-C, SD card reader
Wireless
802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.2
802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.1
802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.0
802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.1
Battery
76 WHr, 10 hours
56 / 84 WHr
52 WHr, 7 hours
57 WHr, 6.5 hours

* Specs listed are for default configurations and do not include upgrade options available at checkout.

Click here to catch all the latest news from Apple’s “Hello again” event.

26
Oct

Surface Studio vs. the competition: Beauty isn’t skin deep


Over the past few years we’ve seen Microsoft take on the world of tablets with the Surface and, for those who prefer something more on the laptop side, the Surface Pro and Surface Book. But it hasn’t truly tackled desktops until today’s announcement of the all-in-one Surface Studio. As cool as features like the zero-gravity hinge might be, the Studio will be facing off against established lines like the iMac. We’ve assembled the specs of some of the leading 27-inch machines on the market and matched them up against the 28-inch Studio to see which is worthy of sitting on your desk.

Microsoft Surface Studio
Apple iMac
HP Envy 27
Dell XPS 27
Price
$2,999 / $3,499 / $4,199
$1,799 / $1,999 / $2,299
$1,300 / $1,500 / $1,700
$1,550 / $1,650 / $1,850 / $2,300
Dimensions
25.09 x 17.27 x 1.26 inches (63.73 x 43.89 x 3.22 cm)
25.6 x 20.3 x 8 inches (65 x 51.6 x 20.3 cm)
25.7 x 19.3 x 7.95 inches (65.28 x 49.02 x 20.19 cm)
26.14 x 19.32 x 9.44 inches (66.4 x 49.22 x 24 cm)
Weight
21.07 pounds (9.56 kg)
21 pounds (9.54 kg)
24.25 pounds (11 kg)
35.3 pounds (16 kg)
OS
Windows 10
OS X Sierra
Windows 10
Windows 10
Display
28-inch PixelSense touch
27-inch Retina 5K
27-inch LED touch or non-touch
27-inch IPS LED touch
Resolution
4,500 x 3,000 (192 ppi)
5,120 x 2,880 (218 ppi)
2,560 x 1,440 (109 ppi)
2,560 x 1,440 (109 ppi)
Processor
Intel Core i5 / Core i7
Intel Core i5 (3.2 / 3.3 GHz)
Intel Core i5 (2.2 Ghz) / Core i7 (2.8 Ghz)
Intel Core i5 (3.4 GHz) / Intel Core i7 (4 GHz)
Memory
8 / 16 / 32GB
8GB
8 / 12 / 16GB
8GB
Graphics
NVIDIA GTX 965M / 980M
AMD Radeon R9 M380 / M390 / M395
Integrated / GeForce GTX 950
Intel HD Graphics / NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M
Storage
1 / 2TB hybrid drive
1TB HDD (7200 rpm) / 1TB Fusion Drive / 2TB Fusion Drive
1TB (5400 / 7200 rpm)
1TB (7200 rpm)
Ports
USB 3.0 (x3), Mini Displayport, SD card reader
USB 3.0 (x4), Thunderbolt 2 (x2), gigabit ethernet, SDXC card reader
USB 3.0 (x4), gigabit ethernet, 3-in-1 card reader
USB 3.0 (x6), HDMI, gigabit ethernet, 8-in-1 card reader
Wireless
802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.0
802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.0
802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.2
802.11ac, Bluetooth 4.0

* Specs listed are standard configurations and don’t include upgrade options available at checkout. Width dimensions include the base.

Click here to catch all the latest news from Microsoft’s big Surface event.

22
Oct

Watch HP’s Elite X3 Windows Phone simulate a desktop


After spending plenty of time with HP’s Elite X3 Windows Phone, it’s hard not to be impressed by the company’s ambition. It’s just too bad the execution isn’t so great. The Elite X3 builds on Microsoft’s Continuum feature, which gives phones pseudo-desktop interfaces on larger monitors, with Workspace, a virtual environment that lets you run full Windows apps. Together with a Desk Dock and Lap Dock, HP intends for the X3 to serve as both a laptop and desktop replacement. But while Workspace is a decent fix for Continuum’s issues, I don’t think it’s enough to make the X3 a viable option for most workers.

17
Oct

HP’s Elite X3 gets closer to the dream of a Windows Phone as a PC


Everything about HP’s Elite X3 seems like a gamble. It’s the company’s first phone in two years, and it’s the first major Windows Phone device since Microsoft’s Lumia 950 debuted last year. HP is betting big that premium hardware and the ability to use the phone as both a pseudo-desktop and laptop will actually be a boon for enterprise customers. Naturally, too, HP is hoping to tempt businesses away from BlackBerry. But while it’s nice to see the company swing for the fences (like with its gorgeous Spectre 13 ultraportable), it’s not enough in this case to make the $699 Elite X3 a useful device.

Let’s make this clear up front: The Elite X3 isn’t a phone meant for consumers. It’s the sort of thing HP wants businesses to buy in bulk. The company is pushing it as three devices in one: an enterprise-grade smartphone, a desktop replacement (with the $799 Desk Dock bundle) and an ultraportable laptop (with the $1,299 Lap Dock bundle, which also includes the Deck Dock). Those two accessories are powered by Microsoft’s Continuum feature, which transforms the mobile OS into something closer to desktop Windows.

On paper, it all sounds like an IT manager’s dream, since they’ll only have to manage a single device for every employee. But speaking as a former IT worker, it’s clear that HP still has a long way to go before a phone can truly replace dedicated laptops and desktops.

At the very least, the Elite X3 is a sign that HP can build a decent-looking phone. It’s a large device, with a 5.96-inch WQHD (2,560 by 1,400) AMOLED display. But it actually feels good to hold, with curved rear edges wrapped in smooth plastic. Aside from the gaudy chrome strip along the bottom of its case (which houses stereo Bang & Olufsen speakers), the Elite X3 seems like a natural evolution of HP’s designs from the Pre 3 era. Along the back, there’s a fingerprint sensor below the 16-megapixel camera. Up front, an 8MP shooter sits beside an iris camera that serves as a second biometric authentication method.

HP didn’t skimp when it came to internal hardware either. The Elite X3 is powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 820 chip, just like most of this year’s flagship phones. The device also packs in 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage, which is expandable with microSD cards as large as 2TB. The phone is also available in single- and dual-SIM models, making it especially useful for international travel. At 192 grams (0.42 pounds), the X3 definitely makes its presence known in your pocket. But at least the weight distribution is such that it doesn’t feel heavy while you’re holding it.

As a mobile device, the Elite X3 is, well… a Windows phone. The platform feels pretty much unchanged from last year, even with the few tweaks from August’s Anniversary Update. That’s not a huge surprise: Microsoft’s Lumia 950 and 950 XL were failures, and the company has been silent about its mobile plans this year. The Windows app store is slowly getting better, but Windows 10 Mobile still has all the same limitations it did last year. The X3’s camera is also surprisingly slow. It stutters before autofocusing (HP says a software fix is coming), and there’s a noticeable delay when you’re shooting photos.

So, you might ask, why even build a Windows phone today? It turns out HP has a secret trick up its sleeve called Workspace. It’s a virtualized environment that lets you run full Windows apps when using the X3 in Continuum mode with its docks. That’s useful, because Microsoft’s much-touted Continuum feature is still as limited as ever, in that it only works with Universal Windows apps, and there still aren’t nearly enough of those around.

You’ll have to pay dearly for the privilege of using Workspace, though. Pricing starts at $49 a month per user, and you’ll be limited to 4GB of RAM, 10 apps at most and 40 hours of usage. Bumping up to the “Premium” tier, which starts at $79 a month per user, gets you 8GB of RAM, unlimited apps and 80 hours of usage. While HP is pushing the X3 as a truly no-compromise, do-everything device, I can’t imagine many people (or their IT departments) will be keen on having their software usage clocked.

I was only able to test the Elite X3 with its Desk Dock, not the sleek Lap Dock (that’s coming later this week, on October 21st). The beefy Desk Dock includes two USB 3.0 ports, one USB-C connection, a full-sized Displayport slot and, surprisingly enough, an Ethernet jack. It has a metallic chrome finish, as well as a rubbery material along its base to keep it in place on your desk. One strange thing: Though this is a device that’s solely meant to connect to an external monitor, HP didn’t include any DisplayPort cables or adapters in the box.

With all the necessary cables connected, I simply placed the X3 on the Desk Dock for it to wake up my monitor and display a Windows login screen. At first, I was astounded at how closely the interface resembled full-fledged Windows, but it wasn’t long before I noticed the limitations. The “Start” menu simply shows you the list of Universal Windows apps you have installed. You also can’t resize and tile apps as you would on the desktop; it’s just a slightly nicer way to use one mobile app at a time.

After a few minutes of testing, the Desk Dock stopped recognizing my Microsoft Sculpt wireless keyboard, even though the accompanying mouse continued to work fine. Eventually, I just plugged in an old Logitech keyboard I had lying around (which severely hampered my typing speed). You’d think even Microsoft’s own hardware would work properly in Continuum mode.

While testing Microsoft-built apps like Edge and Outlook, I also noticed some slowdown, which was surprising given the X3’s Snapdragon 820 CPU. Opening and closing tabs in Edge often took several seconds, and that’s not counting the surprisingly long time pages actually took to load. On its own, it’s clear that Continuum is far from what Microsoft originally promised, so it’s no wonder HP decided to add its own productivity solution on top of it.

HP’s Workspace environment is pretty barebones at this point. Once you sign in, you can launch apps like Notepad (yay?), Google Chrome, the Office 2013 suite, Slack and Acrobat Reader. There’s even Internet Explorer 11 support, which could be useful for companies stuck with legacy web apps (this is how you really know HP wants those enterprise dollars).

If you’ve used any virtualized app before, you’ll notice the same sort of slowdown when using Workspace. It’s fast enough to actually get work done, but there’s a noticeable delay when doing something as simple as typing. I was able to edit Word and Powerpoint documents with ease, and hop into Slack conversations with my colleagues, but I never got used to the slow typing speeds. That may not sound like a huge issue, but it could easily hinder the workflow of fast touch-typists. And take note: These are the speeds I saw when only a few reviewers and HP employees were using Workspace. It could easily get worse once more people hop on.

For all of its faults, Workspace is a decent solution to the endemic compatibility issues with Windows 10’s Continuum feature. It did feel a bit weird to see a countdown timer ticking off how much longer I could actually use the virtualized environment, though. Instead of freeing me from the shackles of juggling many devices, it felt more like being a hopeless corporate drone in Terry Gilliam’s Brazil.

I’ll admit, my testing of the Elite X3 doesn’t cover the multitude of ways businesses could actually integrate it. But speaking as someone with experience choosing, deploying and supporting a wide variety of IT equipment, this device seems to introduce more problems than it solves. An aging desktop computer would be far more useful to most office workers than the X3’s Desk Dock. And while the Lap Dock sounds good in theory, it’ll likely suffer from similar performance issues (I’ll be testing that soon). With ultraportables getting cheaper every year, it’ll be even harder for IT departments to swallow the $500 cost for a compromised accessory.

The Elite X3 is basically pure potential. It’s the best stab I’ve seen yet at making Microsoft’s Continuum feature genuinely useful. And it could be a compelling mobile option as businesses look beyond BlackBerry. But right now, it’s hampered by Microsoft’s disinterest in mobile and the inherent limitations of virtualized software.

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